To put it very simply, the Starks hate the Lannisters, vice versa, and everybody hates the Targaryens, who hate everyone but dragons.
After seeing the first half of the first season there was a delay in getting the rest of them. Meanwhile the book came.
It’s exactly like the show, but with less detail. It bored me knowing that while I read a book with simplistic prose, a beautifully detailed version existed. The sentences are short and “telling” instead of “showing”. Ex. “Arya had a way of ruining everything.” “Cersei Lannister regarded him suspiciously.” “Tyrion gave a helpless shrug.” The first is a cliché, the second is vague, and a third begets the question ‘How does a dwarf shrug?’
After a while I got past what I knew and was able to enjoy the story. Aaahhh… The story is difficult to describe my reaction to it. Life. It wasn’t as engaging as a detective novel, nonfiction would put its; chunky info dumps to shame by spreading the information evenly, and fantasy, its’ own genre, would mock its’ inability to produce an overall mood.
It describes life. Life in a medieval world with warring clans, but still life.
It begins with King Robert Barethoen hiring Ned Stark as Hand of the King, the lord that does everything the king is too lazy to do. Ned travels south to the capital, bringing his two daughters and their direwolves, leaving his wife and 3 sons. His bastard son, Jon Snow leaves for the night watch at the same time.
I don’t want to go further, because I hate spoilers (curse you, Time!) But there is an interesting symbolism all the houses/clans share: they have animals, or in the case of the Tarlys, a flower, as their house sigil. The Starks of the North have direwolves, loyal and thriving in the cold. The Lannisters are lions, golden haired and prideful. The Targaryens are dragons, as far as I can tell it means they’re rare and you shouldn’t awake their wrath.
If you comment, please do not spoil anything, especially past the first season. But here’s the question: Which house should win? I relate most to the Starks, esp. Jon Snow, but Daenerys Targaryen would make an Elizabeth the first-esqe queen.